The heart is an amazing organ able to pump blood to our vital organs and working muscles to keep us alive and moving. What’s unfortunate though is that many of us take it for granted and the Silent Killer creeps up on us. What I’m talking about here is Hypertension and High Blood Pressure.
Why is it called the Silent Killer?
It’s because you can go through life eating poorly and living an unhealthy lifestyle – symptoms unnoticed – until a stroke or a heart attack creeps up on you.
It’s unfortunate but it happens (75 million in the U.S and 5.3 million in Canada are affected by High Blood Pressure) often but it is avoidable for many of us if we engage in the right habits.
On top of getting regular check ups, here are 8 healthy habits that can certainly prevent and outsmart the Silent Killer and lower your blood pressure:
Exercise is the legal drug because it can truly strengthen your heart by making it more efficient at pumping more blood to your muscles and organs with less effort.
Exercising regularly – anywhere between 3-5 X a week – for 1-3 month will certainly have an effect and depending on your diet, regular exercise can also help you loose weight which will also have an effect on lowering blood pressure.
There are now so many ways to exercise that there’s surely something for you to help you get your move on.
2) Eat foods high in Nitric Oxide
Naturally occurring nitrates are found in real whole foods and play a role in widening your arteries allowing more blood to circulate. High natural nitrate foods include:
- Brussels sprouts
3) Eat food high in omega 3’s
Studies show that Omega 3’s are just as powerful as exercise in lowering blood pressure so eat more of them by eating more:
- Sustainable wild fish, wild game and grass fed beef
- Grass fed yogurt, milk and butter
- Pastured eggs or omega 3 enriched eggs
- Chia, flax, hemp and pumpkin seeds
- Green leafy vegetables like Kale, Cabbage, Swiss Shard and Spinach
- Squash and pumpkin
- Non-GMO Tofu
4) Eat healthy fat sources
Healthy fats also high in anti-oxidants literally have artery scrubbing capabilities and clearing your arteries means more room for blood to circulate which means lower blood pressure. The following fats are good for your heart:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Coconut oil
- Dark Chocolate
5) Eat foods high in Fiber
Fiber found in both whole grains and any type of vegetables have the capability to keep your heart working efficiently and keeping blood pressure low. Grains high in fiber including:
- Whole Oats
6) Eat foods high in calcium, magnesium and potassium
By eating a variety of the fruits and vegetables, you’ll be getting these very important minerals involved in lowering blood pressure. Here are a few to consider:
- Dark Chocolate
7) Supplements can help
Supplements in combination with whole foods can be a great combination for a healthy lifestyle. The following supplements can lower blood pressure.
- Citrulline Malate
- Coenzyme Q10
- If you’re taking statins, a deficiency in CoQ10 is likely to happen. Therefore supplementation can be helpful.
8) Breathe and find ways to relax
Would you believe it if I told you that 75 percent of all physician office visits are for stress-related issues?
The American Psychological Association reports that chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide.
That’s all the reason to make sure you find ways to relax, to seek help if you’re stress symptoms are severe.
But you can also:
- Get into a regular meditation practice
- Perform breathing exercises
- Find a yoga studio near you and engage in yoga
- Sleep a minimum of 7-8 hours every night
- Take a walk during lunch
Lowering your blood pressure is key to disease prevention and that’s only one piece of the benefit. In my view, the most important benefit is optimal health, energy and vitality so implement some form of exercise, eat as well as you can and make sure you find time to rest, recover and rejuvenate.